Providing home and community care to an individual with autism and intellectual disabilities in need is complex and expensive. A single person could require up to five hours of weekly care to assist with daily activities. Other individuals require as many as twenty-four hours of care with round the clock care of two people at a time to assist with hourly tasks and manage crises situations.
The cost to support individuals in need is compounded by the increasing number of adults receiving services. In a census study commissioned by the Pennsylvania Bureau of Autism Services, adults with autism are the fastest growing group. This group is expected to rise to over 36,000 by 2020.
The rising need places a heavier burden on hiring qualified Direct Support Professionals (DSPs), a position in crisis. DSP turnover rates are the result of low wages, lower than the standard cost of living wage. Additionally burdensome and costly is managing the comprehensive and compliance documentation to meet federal and state regulations.
Funding & Reimbursements
There’s no doubt that the legislative budget proposed and signed into law by Governor Thomas Wolf and the Pennsylvania State Legislators will help to improve the growing workforce crisis. Funding considerations for the budget included the recognition of the increased costs in providing services and paying DSPs. However, Components of the budget will help but cannot turn the tides of a sinking ship.
Additionally, the future of the Affordable Care Act could have a significantly different impact on funding and reimbursements. Currently, health care organizations are being further tasked with additional documentation and accountability for patient care. Workforce enrollment for adults with autism spectrum disorders represents about 16.8% of the population with disabilities, leaving agencies to rely primarily on federal and state funding for their operations.
Cost Containment & Management
Industry solutions are available to help manage costs for individual care and your organization. Finding the right solution is as important as finding the right caregiver. The best alternative for your organization is one that allows you to hire regularly, onboard quickly, and maintain documentation. Optonome is the operations management solution that may be right for your organization. Optonome is a mobile communication, training and administration platform, built on the individual’s support plan and daily activities. Optonome provides:
• Staff onboarding, skills training and development, and certification
• Compliant documentation management with federal and state regulations
• Communication management with the individual and the care team
• An automated solution to help reduce errors, labor costs and streamline business operations
Optonome allows you to focus on supporting independent living for individuals in need.
Interested in learning more?